They say every time you lose an eyelash you should make a wish. My wish: that my damn eyelashes would stop falling out! It seems like I lose five or more hairs a day. So, I had to figure out what was causing this fall out before I ended up lashless.
Dr. Heidi Waldorf, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, tells SELF that the hair on your eyelids is a lot like the hair on your head. There's a natural growth phase and rate of shedding. So, it's totally OK to lose 1-2 lashes a day (not clumps!!), and it typically takes at least three months for each hair to grow back.
Related: 11 Bad Beauty Habits to Break ASAP
1. You're rubbing too hard when you remove your makeup.
Mascara can be one of the hardest things to remove with just face wash—your smudged towels are evidence. It's important to use an oil-based makeup remover to gently get rid of makeup around the eyes. Hold a cotton round against the lids for a few seconds to loosen the product, and you won't have to work as hard. If you're rubbing too much, you can aggravate the area and end up with lashes on your cotton pad. "Any irritation from mascara use, rubbing, and even removing eye makeup can be traumatic," Christine Choi Kim, M.D., a dermatologist in Santa Monica, tells SELF.
2. You're sleeping with mascara on.
You've probably heard how wearing makeup to bed is bad for your skin. Sleeping in mascara can also be problematic for your lashes. Dr. Kim likens it to wearing hairspray. Manipulating your strands with a really stiff coating can make them more prone to snap, and the same is true of mascara. The product hardens the lashes, and the friction against your pillow can cause breakage. Yes, lash breakage is a thing.
Click through the gallery below to see the dangers of eyelash extensions:
3. You're removing your false lashes or lash extensions all wrong.
Falsies can change your entire look (I love them to enhance my sparse, stubby lashes). If you have the tendency to remove your falsies without using makeup remover, it could be doing serious damage to your natural lashes. Make sure to use a Q-tip doused in an oil-based cleanser to loosen the glue at the lash line before pulling them away.
Dr. Waldorf also warns against extensions. "Eyelash extensions can also cause loss of eyelashes [similar to] traction alopecia on the scalp," she says. Lash extensions use medical grade glue to attach individual hairs to the root of your natural lashes. The tension could cause your real hair to fall out. If you do opt for lash extensions, allow them to shed naturally and resist the urge to tug.
4. You only use waterproof mascara.
Waterproof mascara is a great tool to have in your beauty arsenal, but it's not an everyday solution. The same ingredients used to make this type of mascara last longer can dry out your lashes, making them more brittle (and apt to break). Not to mention, it's really hard to take off. See number one.
5. You're a devout eyelash curler.
"Using an eyelash curler puts traction on the hairs and can pull hairs out, especially if done over mascara," explains Dr. Waldorf. Remember to always curl your lashes before putting on product. You can also heat up your curler with a blowdryer to get a better result without having to press as hard or clamp down multiple times. Warning: check the temperature on your hand first. Burning off your lashes is not a good thing.